The iPhone X (pronounced 10) turned out to be a very pleasant surprise to fans of the tech company expecting only one big new handset this year from Apple. After leaked features of the new phone in days leading up to its launch, when Tim Cook announced the iPhone 8, most people felt a little underwhelmed, given what various news articles had promised the phone would include! The X however did not disappoint.
Apple have completely re-designed the handset with some monumental changes to mark a decade of iPhone. The home button at the bottom of the device, synonymous with iPhone has been removed to make way for a full screen display, meaning the only physical buttons on the phone are on its side. The edge to edge display not only makes the phone look better but also creates a much more immersive experience and accentuates the new super-retina, fully OLED display (5.8” and 2436 x 1135 resolution) being used for the first time. The lack of home button makes way for more fluid gestures, allowing users to leave apps and return to the home screen much faster with a single swipe from the bottom of the screen. Whilst many won’t miss the actual button, its security functionality with Touch ID has become a stalwart of the phone, leading to the natural question – how do you unlock your iPhone X? The phone comes with what Apple call a, ‘Neural Engine’. Two 3D depth-sensing, front-facing cameras use advanced facial recognition technology to unlock your phone with nothing more than a glance. Gone are the days where somebody could hold a picture in front of the phone to unlock it! The neural engine projects thousands of invisible micro dots onto the user’s face to track their facial contours and its depth, matching the information it receives to saved facial information it already has stored for you. Whilst Apple boasted the ‘trickery rate’ (someone being able to unlock your phone that isn’t you) of Touch ID was 1 in 10,000 – they now claim the trickery rate for Facial ID to be 1 in 1,000,000! The depth sensing cameras even make it possible for a quick glance at an angle to unlock the device so you don’t have to look ridiculous holding it up at eye level every time you want to use it.
As usual, the camera is changing the photography game… Like with the previous two ‘Plus’ version handsets, the X comes with dual rear-facing 12MP cameras. The lenses come with f/1.8 & f/2.4 apertures respectively and a quad LED flash which have meant better quality ‘portrait mode’ and new studio lighting settings. Zero shutter lag has ever increased the quality of iPhone’s low light pictures, providing ever better sharpness and contrast to nighttime photography.
The battery will now run for 2 hours longer than the iPhone 7 and, like the 8 and 8Plus, the X supports wireless charging. The wireless charging is enabled by the beautifully designed all glass, rear cover which is further impressive given that it has an IP67 waterproof rating without compromising on design.
As with the 8 and 8Plus, the X uses Apple’s newly designed A11 bionic chip which allows for faster processing speed on the device. Whilst we felt the speed of the 6S and 7 have been more than ample and there’s an argument to say it’s not needed, the chip allows the phone’s new features such as the increased screen quality and the Neural Engine to operate without affecting the residual performance of the phone.
There’s no doubt that the X is a huge landmark, appropriately marked for Apple. The only immediately obvious downside is the price…. £999 will get you the entry level 64GB version and the highest 256GB version will set you back a cool £1,149! These prices mark an historic moment in the mobile industry, being the first standard, mass-produced handsets to cross the £1000 threshold. They will inevitably sell, and sell well so why wouldn’t Apple charge what they want! We can’t help thinking though that Apple have been a touch arrogant in their pricing and have set a precedent that could see prices in our industry spiral out of control further down the line!
Pricing and Availability:
64GB – £999
256GB – £1,149
Available 3rd November 2017